The kitchenware you choose to use when mashing your potatoes has a significant effect on their texture after mashing.
Potato Ricer Vs. Masher
To ensure you get smooth, soft and delicious mashed potatoes, you should have the right kitchenware. A potato ricer and a potato masher are some of the best tools to mash your potatoes in the kitchen.
Often made of stainless steel or plastic, a potato ricer is a kitchen tool built like a big garlic press and works by pushing big cooked potatoes, either one or two, through a perforated grate creating string like broken down potato bits.
Some ricers are entirely manual; resembling a sieve but have an inverted shape like a cone and are referred to as conical ricers.
You use a pestle-like style with round movements that force the potatoes through the small holes. Its primary purpose is to process potatoes with a gentle touch to the fluffiest mash.
Alternatively, there are some things in the kitchen that can substitute for a potato ricer.
The air incorporated when pressing the potato makes your work easy and fast. However, it takes longer when the potatoes are not peeled; you have to remove the peels from the ricer’s chopper every time you mash a batch. Failure to do that blocks the holes and makes mashing impossible.
A potato masher is a hand masher that gives you creamy and smooth potatoes.
It’s built with a sideways or an upright connected to it’s a mashing head or plat-like with slots or holes.
Most potato mashers are made of stainless steel and available in various styles to cut into potatoes and other foods easily.
Make sure your potatoes are finely cooked before you start mashing.
Related: Potato Ricer Substitute
Difference between a Ricer and a Smasher
One contrasting feature between the two tools is their physical appearance. A ricer may be round with about 7-10 centimetres width or rectangular with a V-shaped bottom.
Most ricers do one potato at a time. You don’t need to peel the potatoes first since the peels remain in the ricers hopper (where you put a cooked potato) once the clean mash has squeezed out.
Potato mashers come in two types. One is a large gauge wire in a rounded zigzag shape and a plate that has either slots or holes.
The head is connected to a sideways or upright handle connected to the mashing head. The potato is mashed by grabbing the handle and pushing it down onto the foodstuff.
A ricer gives you smooth and crump-free potatoes. The hopper ensures potatoes are smoothly mashed compared to a potato smasher.
The small holes allow extremely smooth mealy potatoes out, but they remain fluffy due to the pressing.
A masher allows you to include peels in your meal for additional nutrition. A ricer separates the peels and your potatoes, and it’s tiresome because you must remove the peels consistently.
A masher doesn’t give you airy mashed potatoes though you get a silky smooth texture. You, however, must be methodical when mashing with a potato masher.
You should use simultaneous motion to twist and press and ensure no corner is left untouched. If the potatoes are too dry, you can add some liquid in the process.
You can choose to use a ricer or a smasher depending on what you call perfect mashed potatoes. Sometimes you may want to add extras such as herbs and cheese.
A masher comes in handy when you want to have additional extras for a unique texture. For fluffy and very smooth mashed potatoes, you benefit from using a potato ricer.
Ricers and mashers are available in different models and brands; buy one that suits your needs. Potato ricer vs masher doesn’t have to be a choice; you may want to own both.